Hong Kong's customs and excise department has completed its investigation into the import of nine Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) armoured vehicles and may open criminal proceedings, it has said.26 Jan 2017
The SAF Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICVs) were impounded in November on their way back to Singapore from a training exercise in Taiwan. Singapore's Ministry of Defense (Mindef) said at the time that "Singapore authorities are providing relevant assistance to the Hong Kong Customs and expect the shipment to return to Singapore expeditiously". It added that the vehicles "were used by the SAF in routine overseas training and shipped back via commercial means as with previous exercises".
Hong Kong's commissioner of customs and excise Roy Tang said that as "an active and responsible trading partner in the global economy" the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is committed to complying with international standards of strategic trade control, "and Hong Kong implements a robust control system to achieve it".
"Import, export and transhipment / transit of strategic commodities in breach of licensing requirement are criminal offences punishable under the Hong Kong law," he said.
The military vehicles and the associated equipment will now be returned to Singapore through the carrier, Tang said.